Philadelphia restaurants will be able to expand to 50% of their indoor capacity starting this Friday (October 2). The announcement was just made by the city's health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.

Today's announcement marks an increase from the allowed 25% occupancy in the city's restaurants, which is currently in effect.

Governor Wolf's office allowed the rest of the state to resume dining at 50% earlier this month. But citing higher COVID-19 case numbers, Philadelphia city officials maintained the restrictions at 25% in the city for several weeks. Those went into effect earlier this month.

The city's restaurants will be required to follow all guidelines issued on the statewide level from Governor Wolf. Plus, the city of Philadelphia has imposed an additional restriction that limits the number of people dining to four persons per table.

“We want only household members to be dining together,” he said.

Per the state's guidelines, restaurants in Philadelphia must certify that they are following the safety guidelines (maintaining social distancing, requiring employees to wear facial coverings, and more).

Dr. Farley emphasized that outdoor dining is still much safe. In fact, during Tuesday's press conference he encouraged the city's restaurants to continue to offer expanded outdoor dining.

"No matter how much restaurants improve ventilation indoors, the ventilation outdoors is going to be much better. We do think that’s a much safer environment for diners," Farley said.

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in the city of Philadelphia remains relatively flat, officials say.

The city reported an average of 74 new cases of COVID-19 per day last week, the city's health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said on Tuesday. Those numbers are similar to the week before.

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